Princess Celestia trotted around the outside of the Royal Gardens, contempt to merely bask in the unexplained and near magical calming effect the Gardens could produce near every single day. Princess Celestia knew not why, but she had felt the strangest urge that she needed to be outside of the confines of her Room today.
As Celestia stopped before an the night-flower section of the Gardens, an idea of her sisters upon her return, Celestia turned her head as a tremendous wind ripped through the Gardens, seemingly from nowhere and everywhere.
The strange wind subsided as quickly as it had appeared, appearing to carry a roar of its own throughout its short appearance within Canterlot. As Celestia raised herself from her braced position, she began to hear several wing beats approaching her location in the Royal Gardens.
Two of Celestia’s Royal Guards were the source of the wing beats, landing a short ways from Celestia and in clear worry over the strange occurrence that Celestia now knew must have echoed through all of Canterlot.
“Are you alright Princess Celestia? We feared you may have been caught up in that strange wind just a few moments ago.” Winged Spear spoke up as he surveyed both the area and the Princess herself for any damage.
“I am unharmed. I will not lie and say I am not afraid of the strange wind though. It was other worldly.” Princess Celestia told Winged Spear as his partner, Bronze Feather, finished his survey of the area around the Gardens edges.
As Winged Spear nodded at Celestia and prepared to take flight again to continue his routine, everypony in the Gardens heard more frantic wing beats, far lighter than those of any Royal Guard Pegasi though.
Princess Luna was the source of these particular wing beats, worry and urgency clear on her face and other features as she rapidly approached her elder sister’s location within the Royal Gardens at a speed Celestia had only ever seen Rainbow Dash fly at.
“Sister!” Luna yelled to Celestia a moment before she landed, clearly exasperated by her elevated speed over the past short moments.
“Luna! What is it? What his distressed you so greatly?” Celestia begged her sister for an answer as she and Bronze Feather assisted Luna in standing again.
“We cannot talk in front of the Guards. This concerns one of the great secrets we were born for.” Luna whispered to her sister Celestia, knowing only she would hear and understand what Luna had just said.
Celestia looked over at the currently present Guards and was fully prepared to use all her authority to remove them. If the situation was in fact as grave as Luna suggested with her whispered words, then there was less than no time to waste here.
“Winged Spear. Bronze Feather. Leave me and my sister. We must discuss matters of great import. Have all the Guards adjust their routes to give a large bubble of space around my personal chambers. And I want Shining Armor to cast his shield spell around my Chambers to further isolate us. Please do this now.” Celestia told her Guards, the true authority of her position behind each of her words.
“As you insist your Highness.” Winged Spear replied to Celestia, nodding first at her and then at Bronze Feather as both took off to relay their new orders.
Celestia nodded to Luna and set about leading the way to her private room, where nopony at all would disturb them. As Luna and Celestia reached the top of the long staircase that lead to Celestia’s Chambers, they met Shining Armor, who saluted them and parted his shield spell for a few moments to allow Luna and Celestia access.
Once inside Celestia’s Chambers, Celestia took her typical place by the hearth rug and Luna set about pacing the room nervously as he sister settled in for the important news Luna had for her.
“We are quite certainly alone now Luna. Tell me what you have learned about the secrets of our first memories.” Celestia told Luna, unsurprised to see Luna continue to pace as she began her explanation.
“I received a letter from Dune Star.” Luna began, glad to see Celestia take the true meaning of this otherwise mundane activity seriously.
“What was contained within it? I know that Dune Star would not simply send a letter here without very good reason.” Celestia replied to Luna’s statement, worry now growing in her as it grew in her sister.
“Dune Star says he is coming here to Canterlot to discuss the greatest threat to Equestria since the end of the Second Equestrian Age with us. He also requested we gather the current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony and any others we feel must know a grave few facts at this time. He finished by saying he will arrive shortly.” Luna concluded, at last stopping her pacing to look at her elder sister fully for her reaction to this news.
Celestia immediately rose from her position near the fireplace, ready and willing to gather everypony of military import and greet Dune Star when he arrived in Canterlot, which Celestia knew would be all too soon.
“We have little time in that case Luna. You must go to Ponyville and gather Twilight and her friends. Tell them it is of even greater importance than the Discord incident. That is certain to rouse them fully if they are unwilling. I will gather the others of import and then guide Dune Star here. Can you do that?” Celestia asked her sister, hoping Luna was now once more prepared to defend Equestria.
“Absolutely my sister. I will return post haste. Are there any others I must gather?” Luna replied, already preparing to take the gaseous form that Nightmare Moon had shown her.
“I do not think so. I will gather Shining Armor, Cadance, and Prince Blueblood here. They are of enough import to be informed alongside us. Even my nephew will understand once he meets our mentor himself.” Celestia informed her sister, already heading to the door and knocking upon the shield spell to inform Shining Armor to lower it.
“I will see you shortly then my sister.” Luna called out as she dissolved her form to easily travel to Ponyville.
“I do hope so greatly my sister.” Celestia voiced her worries aloud, spreading her wings and preparing to fly all across Canterlot.
Princess Celestia paced along the outskirts of Canterlot near the side that eventually led to the heart of the Desert of Fate. Princess Celestia was certain that if Dune Star was indeed coming to Canterlot very soon, then this is the side of Canterlot that he would appear on in order to finish his journey.
Princess Celestia had quickly flown about Canterlot summoning Cadance, Shining Armor, and Blueblood to the Royal War Chamber, an area of Canterlot Castle known well by the Royal Guards as their typical meeting room. Once Celestia had sent each of these three ponies on their way, she had quickly come to the edges of Canterlot and set about her pacing.
Celestia stopped her pacing for a moment to glance at the sun in the sky over Canterlot, and was greeted with a small gust of very sandy wind. Once Celestia reopened her eyes, having shut them at the sudden gust of wind, she saw that Dune Star had now arrived.
“Hello again Celestia. I am glad you are here. It means that you have gotten my letter yes?” Dune Star asked Celestia, generations worth of knowledge echoing in his words.
“I indeed received it. I have already summoned those within Canterlot who should be informed, and Luna is off collecting the current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony as per your requests.” Celestia explained to her old teacher, glad to see that in the 1600 years since she had last seen him he had hardly aged, as was usual of any Alicorn.
“Excellent. I do wish I could have visited Canterlot under better circumstances, but time makes fools of us all. Even those who study it like my master.” Dune Star replied, turning his head all around him as he studied the changes Canterlot had undergone in his long absence.
“If you don’t mind me asking master, why exactly are you visiting? Luna said that it had something to do with the greatest Enemy to face Equestria since the end of the Second Equestrian Age, but what does that mean exactly?” Celestia questioned Dune Star as she led the way to the Canterlot War Chamber within the Castle’s confines.
“I would love to tell you as of this very moment, but I do prefer to multi-task as they say. I would very much like to explain this to everypony once they are gathered.” Dune Star told Celestia, falling a small ways back from her steps as they approached the doors to the War Chamber so as to still appear lesser than the Princesses at least within their own kingdoms.
Celestia nodded at Dune Star as she opened the doors to the War Chamber with her magic. Within a few moments, the door swung shut again and both Princess Celestia and Dune Star were now within the War Chamber.
Luna had not yet returned from Ponyville with Twilight and the other current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and as such, only Shining Armor, Cadance, and Prince Blueblood were within the War Chamber and seated at the large table within the middle of the War Chamber.
As all other ponies present except for Dune Star and Celestia prepared to raise their voices and questions, Celestia held up her hoof to silence them.
“All questions will be answered. But we must wait for Luna, Twilight, and the other Bearers of the Elements of Harmony before we begin. This concerns all of Equestria.” Celestia told everypony present, glad to see them at least close their mouths and settle down slightly.
Dune Star took his position at the head of the table within the War Chamber just as Luna reappeared within Canterlot, the Six Bearers of the Elements of Harmony in tow behind her smoke trail.
“Do forgive me if I’m late. My magic isn’t powerful enough within the daytime hours to move everypony along with myself at my usual speed.” Luna explained to all ponies present in the room, glad to see them all nod at her as she took her seat at the table beside her sister.
Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and Fluttershy did not join the others at the table initially however. Celestia could not blame them for choosing to speak up as of the moment. They hadn’t all been present when she explained her reasons for not answering questions at the current time.
“Forgive me for not immediately taking my seat Princess Celestia, but I need a couple of questions answered. First, why are we all here now so soon after Luna barged into Ponyville and got us all together? Also, what in the hay could possibly be worse than the Discord incident?” Rainbow Dash spoke up, mere confusion and not anger behind her words.
“Simple enough questions to answer. You’re here because you are the current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony. And this situation is far graver than the Discord situation because it involves the one who created Discord.” Dune Star replied, speaking up from underneath the hood of his cloak to the room at large for the first time since his arrival in the War Chambers.
Everypony in the room turned to star at Dune Star, surprised that he both had logical answers to Rainbow Dash’s questions and that he had actually spoken up in place of the high authority of the Princesses in the War Chambers.
“Do forgive me for being rude to ya, but who in the hay are you and why are ya answering in place o’ the Princesses? What gives you that right?” Applejack questioned Dune Star, felling a mild shiver run through her body as he directed his body at her to give his answer.
“I do not exceed the authority of the Princesses in anyway. They are as unaware as you all are. I am the one who summoned them here alongside you with the information I must share.” Dune Star replied, shocking Applejack into silence by responding with such a perfect answer to her inquiries.
Twilight was the next to step forward, seeking knowledge being in her nature as both a unicorn and a magic student of Princess Celestia herself.
“And what information is that exactly sir? And might I ask just who you are anyway?” Twilight asked Dune Star, somehow sensing that he was smiling at her question despite the fact that she and nopony else could see his face.
“The information will be given all at once when you decide to join us at the table. And, since you asked nicely, I am Dune Star. I’m certain at least one of you recognizes me no?” Dune Star answered Twilight, satisfied as he heard Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash gasp at the realization of just who he was.
Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy remained confused as to the gravity of the situation though. It was Pinkie Pie who decided to become informed first.
“Who’s that huh girls? I’ve never ever ever heard of a pony named Dune Star. Is he super duper uber important?” Pinkie Pie asked her friends, shocked to see them all spin around to face her as fast as they did.
“Pinkie Pie! Show some respect! Dune Star is the assistant of Star Swirl the Bearded himself!” Twilight cried out as Rarity nodded along in agreement.
“And legend is that he trained with the very first Wonderbolt ever, Flash Breeze!” Rainbow Dash added, showing true her extensive knowledge of all things Wonderbolt.
Applejack and Fluttershy now understood just how important Dune Star must be due to hearing how related he was to some of their friends personal heroes. Pinkie Pie grasped it too after a couple of moments when she jumped up in the air and gasped.
“Forgive us for making everypony wait. We’ll sit down and listen now. Come along girls.” Rarity commanded, leading all the rest of her friends to the six pre-set chairs at the table.
Once the last of the Six Bearers had taken their seats, Dune Star saw fit to at last remove his robes. Once he did, everypony in the room gasped at his appearance.
Dune Star had a sand colored coat with a stark white mane. Dune Star’s Cutie Mark consisted of a pair of hourglasses crossed like swords with a large spark of blue magic in the middle where the hourglasses met. Dune Star also had several scars with three prominent ones on his right flank, his stomach, and his left eye.
“Very well. I shall begin this War meeting.” Dune Star spoke up, waiting for his words to take effect in the room.
“War meeting Dune Star?” Luna asked, worry clear in her voice as she tried to imagine the true meaning of Dune Star’s words.
“Yes Luna. In one year’s time, Equestria will again be at war with the single greatest enemy it has ever faced in its long life. The God of Chaos, Anima, will return.” Dune Star gravely replied, wishing he didn’t have to say anything more than that.